Orlando’s official tourism association, Visit Orlando, announced today their 2022 Board of Directors and how much money their Magical Dining campaign raised to combat homelessness.

What’s Happening:

  • Visit Orlando today announced the donation of $289,291 to local organizations that help combat homelessness in Central Florida and facilitate access to necessary services. The donation was raised through Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining, which showcases some of Orlando’s best restaurants through special prix fixe menus in the fall with $1 from each meal designated for charity.
  • In 2021, Visit Orlando extended the program’s charitable impact by awarding a $2,000 donation to one local nonprofit on the front lines of homelessness in each of Orange County’s six commission districts. Those recipients included The Central Florida Hope Center, Latino Leadership, Matthew’s Hope, Professional Opportunities Program, Project Street Light and Zebra Coalition.
  • Since 2009, Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining has raised over $2 million for local charities. Additional information about Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining, including a full list of charities that have benefited over the years and restaurants that participated, is available at OrlandoMagicalDining.com.

What They’re Saying:

  • Casandra Matej, president and CEO for Visit Orlando said: “On behalf of Visit Orlando, our participating restaurants, and all the Orlando residents who dined for a great cause, we’re thrilled to share this donation as a result of Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining program for 2021. Pathlight HOME and IDignity, are two incredible organizations making a difference in our community and we look forward to seeing their important work supported as a result of these additional funds.”  
  • Helaine Blum, CEO and co-founder of Pathlight HOME said: “We were honored to have been chosen as a beneficiary of this year’s Magical Dining program. To date over 7,000 homeless and low-income  individuals have found a home and support services through our organization. And, thanks to this funding,  even more will have the comfort of a roof over their head and the services they need to become  empowered, self-sufficient members of our community.”  
  • Michael Dippy, executive director of IDignity said: "All of us at IDignity were extremely grateful and humbled to have been a beneficiary of Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining program this year. IDignity is honored to partner in improving the quality of life in Orlando by assisting U.S. citizens and legal residents in obtaining their legal identification documents. Access to identification not only empowers individuals to better their own lives, it also cultivates a society that is more inclusive, productive, and secure for us all."

2022 Visit Orlando Board of Directors:

  • During Visit Orlando’s 2021 Annual Meeting of the Members, community and business leaders were voted in to serve as its 2022 Board of Directors. Visit Orlando is the not-for-profit trade association responsible for branding, marketing, and selling the Orlando destination globally to attract leisure visitors and meetings and convention business for local economic impact. Its members represent companies comprising every segment of Central Florida’s tourism community.

Board Chair to serve through December 31, 2022:

  • Brian Comes, Area Vice President for Hyatt Regency Orlando presides over Board actions to ensure that the mission and goals of Visit Orlando are fulfilled.

Visit Orlando Board of Directors for 2022 include:

  • Robert Agrusa, President/CEO, Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association
  • John Arie Jr., Chief Executive Officer, Fun Spot America Theme Parks
  • Brooke R. Bonnett, Director of Economic Development, City of Orlando (Designee of The Honorable Buddy Dyer, Mayor, City of Orlando)
  • Barb Bowden, Area Managing Director, Loews Hotels at Universal Orlando
  • Robert Bray, General Manager, Orlando World Center Marriott
  • William A. Davis, President & Chief Operating Officer, Universal Orlando Resort
  • Donna Dyson, Market President/Publisher, Orlando Business Journal
  • Don Engfer, Principal, Engfer & Associates
  • Diana Font, President, DM Font Events
  • Charlie Freeman, President of Business Operations & CFO, Orlando Magic
  • Dan Giordano, General Manager, Rosen Shingle Creek
  • Tim Giuliani, President and CEO, Orlando Economic Partnership
  • Roseann Harrington, Chief of Staff, Office of the Mayor (Designee of The Honorable Jerry Demings, Orange County Mayor, Orange County Government)
  • Gerald Hector, Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance, University of Central Florida
  • Scott Hudgins, Chief Commercial Officer, Walt Disney World Resort
  • Yogita Inamdar, Director-Social Responsibility, Inclusion & Diversity, Travel + Leisure Co.
  • Steven Jamieson, General Manager, The Mall at Millenia
  • Thibaut van Marcke, Senior Vice President, Dr. P. Phillips Hospital/Orlando Health
  • Paul S. Mears III, President, Hello! Destination Management
  • Bob Miles, President, Bags Inc.
  • Kyle Miller, Park President, SeaWorld Orlando, Aquatica and Discovery Cove
  • Harold Mills, Chief Executive Officer, VMD Ventures
  • Barbara Poma, Founder, OnePulse Foundation
  • Terry Prather, Chief Operating Officer, LIFT Orlando
  • Fred Sawyers, Managing Director, Signia by Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek and Waldorf Astoria Orlando
  • Atish Shah, Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, Xenia Hotels & Resorts
  • Thomas Steinhauer, Regional Vice President & General Manager, Four Seasons Resort Orlando
  • Mark Tester, Executive Director, Orange County Convention Center
  • Justin Williams, General Manager, Grand Bohemian Hotel Orlando
  • Evan Wyant, Senior Vice President, Greater Orlando Market President, Truist
  • Casandra Matej, Visit Orlando’s President & CEO (Non-voting member)

About Visit Orlando:

  • Visit Orlando is The Official Tourism Association for Orlando, the most visited destination in the United States and  Theme Park Capital of the World. Visit Orlando connects consumers with every segment of Central Florida’s travel  community, whether for a vacation or meeting. Home to seven of the world’s top theme parks — as well as refreshing water parks, outdoor thrill rides, activities to connect with nature, and a dynamic dining and entertainment scene — Orlando is welcoming to travelers of all ages. With 450 hotels, visitors have choices that span multi-acre resorts to themed boutique hotels. Orlando’s trusted theme parks, attractions, hotels and businesses have developed comprehensive safety measures and worked closely with medical experts to create safe travel experiences. Find more information at VisitOrlando.com.